Toshali Literature Festival: A brief Report by Bijayalaxmi Rath

The first edition of Toshali Literature Festival was organised in Bhubaneswar, India  on 28-29th January, 2023 in a spectacular manner. Attended by many senior poets from across the country it was also attended by Professor  Elham Hossain from Bangladesh. The festival was inaugurated in the Odisha Press Club premises on 28th evening by Padmashree Dr Debi Prasanna Pattanayak, a celebrated linguist and founder Director of Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore in presence of Akademi award winning senior Odia poet Dr Phani Mohanty, bureaucrat turned writer Mrutyunjay Sarangi, poet and translator Dr Bhagaban Jaisingh, Environmental Expert Siddhant Das and Professor Elham Hossain. Toshali Anthology of Poetry and few other books by the participating poets got released on the occasion. The guests on the evening harped on translation of the regional literatures from one language to other to reach a larger audience.

The second day of the Festival witnessed four panel discussions on various themes and two poetry reading sessions including one multilingual session.

The star attraction of the day was  renowned nonagenarian poet Padmashree Jayanta Mahapatra who spent hours with the participants listening to their poems and reciting his own. In his brief address he commented that poetry is the manifestation of love and love is not confined to any age or group. From Jayanta Mahapatra at ninety five the participants included Adyasha Priyadarshini in her standard nine.

Prominent among the participants were Gopal Lahiri, Bina Singh, Amita Roy, Aneek Chatterjee, Nisha Luthra, Dillip Mohapatra, Gourahari Das, Sashiprava Bindhani, Elanaaga, Rajorshi Patranabis, Ranjit Dutta, Tejaswini Patil, Paramita Mukherjee Mullick, Prabhanjan Mishra, Urna Bose, Mandakini Bhatacharya, JP Jagdev, Mahua Sen, Sushree Sangita Mishra, Swapna Behera, Namitarani Panda, Sukanti Mohapatra, Bibhudatt Sahoo, Bijayalaxmi Rath, Manjula Asthana Mahanti, Purabi Das, Ajit Das, Prasanna Behera, Ratan Ghosh, Sudipta Mishra, Bipin Patsani, Dipak Samantrai, Hardaman Singh, Saroj Padhi, Sarita Naik etc.

The event was curated by Paresh Patnaik, Itishree Sarangi, Chinmayee Panda, Nidhi Garg and Vedula Ramalaxmi.

The Festival was organised under the active guidance of the noted poet Pradeep Biswal.






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